Day 1: Nigeria National Conference Plenary – Live Update (Premium Times)

No Comments » March 28th, 2014 posted by // Categories: Sovereign National Conference (SNC) Project

Day 1: Nigeria National Conference Plenary – Live Update

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Good morning readers, we are here again at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, venue for Nigeria’s National Conference.


Activities for the first official sitting of the is underway. The chamber is gradually filling up as more delegates arrive and are being cleared in the meeting chamber. Traffic along the routes leading to the venue of the Conference venue is long and slow due to the checks carried out by heavily-armed security operatives drafted to secure the area.


Picture of elderly delegates sleeping at the first plenary of the National Conference emerges.


confan sleeping


Thank you all for your time. Join us on Monday morning for the Day 2 of the National Conference. Have a nice day


The Chairman said a National Prayer will be adopted on Monday and the Conference was adjourned. Next sitting is on Monday.


Azinge said the Rules of Procedure will be adopted. She said every stakeholder will be allotted 10 minutes and the group will nominate a speaker to make the presentation. She said the Conference will also receive position papers from delegates.
She said superior reasoning will prevail as well as the majority will in whatever the Conference will do. Members are making noise and calling for adjournment so people would go get all the Conference materials before the next sitting.


A mild row, however, ensued when the Vice Chairman, Akinyemi said delegates should continue asking questions. He, therefore, backtracked and asked Azinge to address the questions already asked.


Tunde Bakare said he is a Nigerian delegate from the South-West. He said the Conference must be held on time and urged that members should leave their homes on time to be at the plenary.
He said delegates should pay personal assistants from whatever they get from the Conference. Mr. Bakare said that religion should not be allowed to divide the people. He referred to the Chairman, who always starts speaking with an Islamic citation and said it could create a situation where he would also start by saying, “Praise the Lord somebody,”  and thereby turn the Conference to a Church service.


Emir of Dutse pleaded that all elements of bitterness should be eschewed. We are responsible for what Nigeria is today and we are also the answer to the problem of this country. The issue here is corruption from the local government. He drew attention to the loss of lives of youths in the course of searching for jobs. He said the delegates are not in the Conference to fight. He drew applause from the house.


Victor Attah said the sitting was becoming tedious and asked that all that is required for the Conference should be provided so that work would start without much ado.


Ita Giwa said some of the problems the country is facing are caused by some of those who are delegates to the Conference. She asked that the flower vest that is covering the face of the Chairman to be removed so he would have clear eye contact with the delegates. She also sought for an avenue for delegates to submit their positions to the conference since each delegation has issues to present.


Zani Zoro said as a journalist, the Conference should adopt the right titles and names to delegates. He, therefore, ask the Secretary not to be part of the reason why there will be misrepresentations at the Conference given the fact that she made clear mistakes on name s and titles.


A delegate from Kaduna said having listened to some of the answers to questions from the Conference Secretary. He, therefore, sought to know how the Conference Rules were arrived at.


The Secretary has called for the adoption of the seating arrangement as suggested by Segun Osoba. She also said that the Conference is not working at cross purpose with the National Assembly. But if the delegates decide that a new constitution is required that would be put up. When such issues arrive, the government will be advised on the legal framework and the way forward. On agenda setting, he said when the sitting starts, the agenda will emerge. The first week, she said, the Conference will discuss the President’s Speech before going to other areas. Again, within the next two weeks, delegates will be allowed to bring up issues that the secretariat might not have thought of. She said Tanzania is undergoing a similar programme.


Musa Adede, who shouted that he has been marginalized has just been given the microphone. He observed that the conference started without an opening prayer and suggested that the second stanza of the National Anthem be adopted by the conference as its prayer. That was the prayer used during the inauguration of the conference.


A representative of the youth sought for an idea on how the agenda of the conference will be set. “We want to know if there is a predetermined areas where delegates will be made to discus.” he also called for a twitter handle to be created for the conference.


A former Judge asked that management get from the National Assembly leadership, the document containing the areas of constitutional amendment to guide the conference in its work especially concerning President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise that the outcome of the conference will be subjected to a referendum


Mimi Amande appeals for the timing of the conference so that it closes at 5pm instead of 6 to enable Christians who are fasting to get home and join their families to pray and break the fast.


Sergent Awuse argued that an arrangements for accommodation should have been made. He also insisted that the sitting arrangements should be based on states, since the delegates represent peoples and places. Olusegun Osoba, said the sitting arrangement should be in alphabetical order. But where people are 80 years above, they should be given special consideration in the seating arrangement. He also said physically challenged persons be given seats in front. Atedo Peterside said he align himself with Osoba on the seating arrangement. He said it is impossible to send an email inside the conference venue and ask for the venue to be supplied with a wireless internet connection.


Delegates are still asking questions on issues they need clarifications. A member requested to know why people should be asked to leave their seat for traditional rulers? Since delegates are representatives of the people and groups which they belong, he insisted that nobody should be asked to get up from his seat for an elder. This is the first controversial issue to surface on the floor


Two women have been recognised and asked to speak in a gender friendly conference. Ozokome, SAN said his is representing an addendum Federal Government delegate.  He said that Christians are in the lenten period and asked whether they will also be provided with a venue to pray.


The Chairman of the Conference,has thrown the floor open for delegates to ask questions on issues they need clearance. The national Secretary of Labour Party said under democratic setting, it would not be proper to apportion seats to delegates. Another delegate, representing former senators asked whether delegates were allowed to have aides and how many each of them should have.

Another delegate argued that the venue does not appear like a conference venue and asked whether the venue would be changed as the sittings begin


More members are trooping into the hall as the introduction of facilities is still going on. In terms of relaxation, Azinge said members could visit the Club House and share bottles of water and other refreshments. She said there are personalized conference bags for each of the delegates and urged delegates to meet the front desk officers for them. She appealed to the delegates to fill the relevant forms that would indicate their account details, medical information and others. She, therefore, sought the permission of the Chairman, that members introduce themselves.

She noted that all delegates will be given the right to fair hearing


The Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Akpandem James has just told delegates that the web address of the conference is


The Chairman has just called on the other principal officers to speak briefly. Indabawa is on the floor. He said he is in charge of the conference proceedings and promised to keep accurate records of proceedings


Inside the hall, delegates are going around shaking hands, engaging in hearty discussions while others are granting press interviews. The hall is half filled but the seats meant for the leadership of the Conference on the platform are still empty.
Former Governor of Imo State, Achike Undenwa is engaged in a discussion with his Ebonyi counterpart, Sam Egwu. Former Chair of the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, Ledum Mitee is seen discussing with Nduese Essien, another member of the erstwhile committee. Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark is already seated on the front row, on the extreme right.


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